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The great invisible disability debate

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

Over the years and again just recently, we’ve been judged, confronted and forced to defend our children and our parenting. It’s hard to believe that in this day and age it’s still happening, but it is!

You would think after ten years and various experiences, we’d be immune to it. Yes, we’ve grown thicker skin but we’re also human and these particular incidences tend to seriously affect me emotionally.

We’re extremely grateful to our mainstream school and school principal especially, for going above and beyond this year to create a safe and inclusive environment for us and all families.

Brand new signs have been installed and a section of convenient car parks have been reallocated for students in need.

Unfortunately, last week I was confronted by another carer who was searching for my permit and questioning my reason for parking there. I attempted to explain to her that our daughter Madi has autism and her response was, “But she can walk.”

I saw red…

This is not ok!

Let’s be clear. We don’t want to have to park there. We would love nothing more than for this not to be the case… but unfortunately, this is what’s best for our child’s safety and wellbeing.

We have permission from our school principal, who is well aware of our situation and who was also very apologetic and disappointed that this happened.

We arrive early everyday to be there to watch Madi walk out of school, accompanied by her education support worker. They handover care and we receive feedback from her aide because Madi is unable to verbalise or pass on any information.

We see other kids walking and riding their bikes. Other parents parking across the road and down the street. We can only dream…

We hope one day our kids may be able to catch a bus or navigate their own way more independently.

We’ll continue to work on set goals towards further independence but for now, this is where we’re at.

We’ll continue to advocate and do what’s best for our children and our family.

You don’t know other people’s situations, what they’ve been through or what they’re going through at the time. Please be kind!

The fight continues...

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